THE HISTORY OF THE FESTIVAL PABLO CASALS
Pablo Casals decided to withstand Franco and the Spanish fascist regime. He definitely stopped playing and refused all kinds of distinctions awarded by the Allies after the defeat of Nazi Germany, considering that his people was still suffering under the yoke of the dictator. Obeying his conscience, he started a new period of exile in Prades, a blessed, isolated and above all Catalan village.
Various messengers came to Prades in order to make the Master change his decision. He would invariably answer : « it is not a matter of money, it is just a matter of morality ». The violinist Alexander Schneider finally tried his luck and spent three days in Prades with Pau Casals, offering him astronomical sums. New refusal. Schneider submitted him a proposal from the pianist Mieczyslaw Horzowksi: « you can’t condemn your art to silence. Since you don’t want to leave Prades we shall come there, a group of musicians, in order to celebrate the bicentenary of Bach’s death ». The festival was born in 1950…
PIERRE BLEUSE, NEW DIRECTOR ARTISTIC
The association of the Festival Prades Pablo Casals announces the appointment of its new Artistic Director, Pierre Bleuse. Both a director and a violinist, esteemed by numerous orchestras and great soloists as well, known for both his inspiring enthusiasm and his charismatic authority, Pierre Bleuse is pursuing a first class international career.
The 2021 Festival’s edition will take place from July, 30 to August, 13. No doubt this edition will be marked by a new energy injected by Pierre Bleuse through his ambitious projects, his background work around Prades and more widely in the whole territory of the Occitanie Region, and also his eclectic programming, which combines international celebrities and budding young artists on the eve of their professional career…
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ABBEY OF SAINT MICHEL DE CUXA
The enchanted framework of the Festival Pablo Casals, namely the abbey of Saint Michel de Cuxa, originates in the former abbey of Sant Andreu d’Eixalada, situated upstream and founded around 840. In the autumn of 878, a terrible flood destructed the monastery built on the river banks near hot water springs which were already known in the Antiquity, forcing the monks to flee. The community settled down in Cuxa, near an existing church devoted to Saint Germain.